For the Love of Art Month -

Every year during February, ArtForms Artists Association organizes and produces For the Love of Art Month, coordinating with art galleries, artist studios, and art spaces throughout town in a celebration of the Arts. Many galleries, studios, and art spaces participate in this annual event, with special exhibits, reflecting the vibrancy, diversity, history, and culture of art in Southern New Mexico. Anybody can engage and surprises await around every corner.

For the Love of Art Month Exhibitions and studio tours

In 2024, the ArtForms members’ exhibit takes place at Gallery 925, 925 N. Mesquite St., and Duende Gallery, 921 N. Mesquite St. See the work of 34 member artists in these exhibitions that are on display through February 25.

Studio Tours take place throughout the area at the places where artists work or where their art is displayed. These tours are a great opportunity to meet artists, talk about their work, and make your purchase directly from them. Studio tours are on Saturdays and Sundays in February, with artists selecting the dates that work best for them. A full schedule of the 39 locations is online and in the printed For the Love of Art Month guide. Look for the blue flags marking each location when you’re driving around visiting studios.

For the Love of Art Month events

Visit the Las Cruces Museum of Art, 491 N. Main St., to see The Desert Was Red and Red the Dust Was Raised,  an exhibit by five female artists using abstraction to consider the relationship between the desert landscape and how it influences an artist’s practice and imagery. This exhibition is on display through March 23, 2024.

Just across the courtyard is the Branigan Cultural Center, which is featuring Connection: : Conjunto, featuring work by The Border Artists. The exhibit considers how place and space informs an artist’s visual language and connections between artists. It is also on display through March 23, 2024.

The New Mexico Watercolor Society Southern Chapter has their For the Love of Art Exhibit on display at Frame and Art Center, 1100 S. Main Street. Mas Art at 144 Wyatt Dr. is showing For the Love of Art, Animals, and More, the work of Beverly Pirtle, from February 2 to 28.

Stop by Agave Artists, a cooperative gallery, Friday through Monday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. to see the work of 15 local artists.

Each year, Mesilla Valley Fine Arts Gallery hosts a fun art game with a nice prize: a $250 gallery gift certificate. Stop by to play “Mini Masterpiece” and match works with the style of the famous artist each is replicating. The open house is Saturday, February 24, 2024, from noon to 4 p.m. The gallery is open daily from 10 to 5 p.m. and is located at 2470-A Calle de Guadalupe in historic old Mesilla, across from the Fountain Theatre.

This is just a handful of the events taking place throughout the city. When it comes to the arts, Las Cruces may not have the clout and financial backing of Santa Fe or Taos, but the artists who live and work here take their art just as seriously as those living in northern art meccas.

From traditional mediums to cutting edge experimentations, the full array of works falling under the umbrella term “art” are explored and presented, making it a unique experience for art collectors, patrons, and everyday folk with an interest in creative expression. To find out who else is involved, check out the ArtForms Facebook page.

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